September 24, 2004

House of Hate No Irie Mon

The Chicago Tribune reported today that local gay rights activists protested last night’s concert at Chicago’s House of Blues by Jamaican dancehall star, Capleton. This is the latest in an ongoing struggle by gay activists to bring international attention to the hate-filled lyrics of several Reggae artists, including Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, Sizzla and most notably Buju Banton, an artist Amnesty International claims took part in a June beating of six gay men in Jamaica. Banton’s own performances have been recently cancelled in England, and his contract with Puma–despite his recent Olympics performance–is under intense scrutiny by the hip lifestyle brand.

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Capleton’s show at HOB went on as planned, solidifying HOB’s position as one the most corporate venues in popular music today. According to The Trib report, Jack Gannon, a spokesman for the Los Angeles-based entertainment company, said performers deserve the same freedom of expression on stage that the protesters have in the street.

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About David Burn

Writer, strategist and brand builder.

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Chicago, Music, Politics